Emma Watson Reacts To The BBC Gender Pay Row: 'We Will Hold You Accountable'

The actress has addressed the news that the BBC's China Editor has stepped down over pay inequality.

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The BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie has quit her role in protest over the gender pay gap, citing an 'indefensible' difference in salaries between men and women. Since Gracie confirmed her resignation in an open letter, Emma Watson has joined top broadcasters and MPs in voicing her support of the journalist's decision.

When asked about Gracie's announcement, Watson, who has spoken countless times about gender equality, said there's an important lesson for companies publishing pay gap information to learn.

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Speaking on the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes, she said: 'By making these commitments public, we need to be holding these organisations accountable... and I think what has happened tonight with that resignation is a really good example that you've got to follow through. You've got to back up what you're saying and it's important and we will hold you accountable.'

In her letter, Gracie, who had been at the BBC for 30 years, wrote to the broadcaster's viewers: 'With great regret, I have left my post as China editor to speak out publicly on a crisis of trust at the BBC.

'The BBC belongs to you, the licence fee payer. I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.'

BBC presenters Simon McCoy and Carrie Gracie in 2008

Referring to the revelation that two-thirds of BBC presenters earning more than £150,000 were male, Gracie added: 'Women saw hard evidence of what they'd long suspected, that they are not being valued equally.'

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On Twitter, many people have shared their support for Gracie using the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie. BBC presenters Clare Balding and Chris Mason and MPs Jess Phillips and Nadine Dorries are just some of the names who have tweeted in solidarity.

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A statement by #BBCWomen, a group of more than 130 broadcasters and producers, has also been shared in recognition of Gracie's bravery.

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In response to Gracie's decision, a BBC spokesman said: 'Fairness in pay is vital. A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average.

'Alongside that, we have already conducted an independent judge-led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed 'no systemic discrimination against women'.

'A separate report for on-air staff will be published in the not too distant future.'

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